What to say when you are starting to look to hire a freelancer?

Every non-technical person will need to bring a technical freelancer to help start their AI project. However, if you don’t have a background in tech, it can make articulating what you need a challenge. 

You’re worried that you could say the wrong thing.  You may have thoughts of being taken advantage of. Only to learn that after spending thousands of dollars, the developer did not build what you wanted.

Technical people are just like creative people who can go out of “scope.” Meaning they can start coding new ideas for the project or redirect the focus of the project you intended to start. Suddenly, you find yourself in a situation where the developer took you to the wrong destination. You don’t have a product that can be used by the people you want to help solve their problems.

Explain the idea clearly

Get developers excited about what you want to achieve. Provide some context as to your problem and why the current solutions don’t cut it. They most likely don’t know how things work in your industry or the business side of things. They only know about programming, and that’s the lane that they should stay on.

Everyone wants to have a life with purpose and a sense of meaning in the world. Highlight the opportunity the developer will gain and the kind of skills that they will improve by working on the project. You want to attract them to an opportunity that hopefully they can match to how they see themselves, not an opportunity that takes them away.

This is not the time to be worried about your ideas being stolen. However, if you have a solution to a problem that anyone can solve and find the right data to solve it, then you can at generalize the idea and problem without giving the specifics of the industry or the area of focus.

Give them your project scope

Highlight the deliverables and what you hope to see at the end of the project. You may prefer sharing with them what they will be responsible for. Will they need to prepare the dataset, or is it “clean” or ready for training? What machine learning or deep learning techniques would you like the developer to attempt first?

How do you want to work? What level of comfort do you need to feel satisfied? Do you need reports of each training run? or do you need the deliverables?

Being able to show a project scope will demonstrate your ability to understand the problem and how AI should satisfy solving the problem.

However, start with a small sub-project to test their level of competency.

Outline the resources available

Developers are keen to focus on the coding and development part of the project. They don’t want to be searching for or finding resources for your project. So when it comes to the software you plan on using, the dataset you have, and the budget you have for training can make a difference if someone is willing to join in and support your mission.

The administrative part of building a model can be tedious and uninspiring, but necessary to get started. For example, most developers do not want to spend time sorting and labelling datasets. You might benefit from hiring a junior developer or early career programmer to offset the responsibility.

However, laying out the resources will help them understand what to expect and how far along you are on your idea.

Articulate what you’ve got

The information you’ve gathered from this article is the basis for your first point of contact with a machine learning or AI developer. Your goal is to entice someone to spend their time working with you on the deliverables. You want to give them enough information to generate interest and take the conversation to the next step. You are selling them the opportunity to help them grow and command the expertise that they want to be perceived all while making a difference to our society.